News hardware On strike day, the RATP will steal… a taxi!
The Olympic Games are approaching, and it is high time for France to show off their chests and present technological jewels like this strange taxi… which flies.
A flying taxi takes off tomorrow, cocorico!
If you live in Paris and around, you must already bite your fingers while waiting for the strike which arrives tomorrow. In effect, a general RATP public transport strike is announced for this Thursday, November 10, and if you depend on the metro or the bus, we advise you to provide an alternative at the risk of not being able to get to work.
RATP employees may be protesting for their rights, but RATP itself will be busy with a rather intriguing project: a flying taxi. Yes, really, a test flight will take place this Thursday. In partnership with the region, this taxi is called Volocopter, and is not only intended to look pretty on the occasion of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The Volocopter, as its name suggests, looks a lot like a helicopter, except it’s totally electric, so no kerozen and no propulsion. It is inspired by drones with its many mini-blades allowing him to fly. With its futuristic look, the interior looks like the front of a car with two seats and a very simplistic dashboard.
But what is that for ?
This taxi should first be used for transport injured people like a helicopter ambulance, but also for emergencies in general. Subsequently, it could potentially take individuals for ultra-fast urban travel. This is actually not the first time that a device like this has been flying in the sky of Île-de-France. At the beginning of 2022, the Volocopter had already made a test run as shown in this video from Le Parisien.
When you dig a little deeper, you understand better and better the interest of this means of transport. Since it is electric, more compact and with many blades instead of only two in a classic helicopter, it makes much less noise: 65 dB in flight and up to 75 dB on takeoff, where a helicopter goes up to 85 and 105 dB respectively. He can therefore move around the city much more easily.
Without knowing the exact weight, it seems very easy to handle, and its small size allows it to land on “vertoports”, a term used by Volocopter to define all the small surfaces that can accommodate the machine, such as the roof of a building or a parking lot. It will be able to move at a height between 150 and 300 meters, and fly a distance of 30km max. Recurring journeys are already planned, such as Charles-de-Gaule to Le Bourget. These journeys will be 20 km maximum to give a margin of error.
In addition to medical and emergency services, this type of public transport should be accessible to all around the end of the decade, with prices ranging between 100 and 200€ per race. Imagine wanting to fly from your home to the airport in just a few minutes.